The bandsaw is the most versatile saw in the shop in many ways. With the ability to resaw, curve, and cut a wide variety of materials, a bandsaw is a must-have for any woodworker.
One thing that can make or break your bandsaw experience is how well you fold the blades.
In this post, we're going to show you how to correctly fold (and unfold) a bandsaw blade so that you can get more use out of it. This simple technique will help protect your edges and prolong their life.
What Is A Bandsaw Blade?
A bandsaw blade is a continuous metal strip cutting blade that goes into the power saw. It's typically made up of high-quality carbon or alloy steel and can be used to cut various materials such as wood or metal.
Why Do You Need to Fold Your Bandsaw Blades?
Bandsaws have an extremely sharp edge, which makes them versatile and able to cut through many different materials. However, having that kind of a sharp edge also means that it can be more easily chipped or accidentally damaged if stored improperly.
Folding the blade will make it easy to store and help preserve it, guaranteeing it will last longer. It's also a good safety precaution, especially if you have kids and pets running around the shop.
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Won't My Bandsaw Break When Folding?
Definitely not. When folded correctly, the blade will not break easily. Bandsaws are made from a carbon steel material that is flexible and durable.
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How To Fold Bandsaw Blades
Because of their flexibility and durability, bandsaw blades can be folded easily for storage or transportation. You don't have to worry about the blade breaking or getting damaged during the process.
The first step when folding your bandsaw is to make sure you're wearing the proper personal protective equipment to protect yourself from accidents. This includes leather gloves, goggles (eye protection in case the blade unfolds, sending debris to your eyes), a thick long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of shoes or boots.
Place The Blade On A Flat Surface With The teeth Facing Away From You.
Place the saw on a table or workbench that is large enough to hold it adequately. Make sure it's completely flat and clear of any obstructions.
You can also place it;
on a smooth floor
lay a board down if working outdoors.
on carpeting or grass or any soft surface that can grab the teeth of the saw blade
Hold The Blade Downwards On The Ground Firmy
Use your foot to hold the bottom of the loop against the floor such that it is perpendicular to the ground.
Use both of your hands (placed about an arm's length from each other) to hold the top of the loop firmly.
Make sure that you are working on a stable surface that won't move or shake while trying to fold your blade, and remember to wear gloves.
Gently Push Down The Blade.
Instead of using a whip motion to fold the blade, pushing it down against the floor will cause the blade to fold in half.
As the blade starts to fold in half, gently roll your wrists towards the inside of the loop, then lift your foot off the loop. This motion will make your blade to form a spiral shape and create three loops in your bandsaw.
And that's it!
Now that you have the basic concept of folding bandsaw blades, you will be able to fold them safely without damaging the blade or injuring yourself.
Once you've followed these steps and practiced a couple of times over, it becomes easy and natural, and you'll be able to coil your bandsaw without having to place it on the ground!
Of course, there are other alternative ways in which to fold the bandsaw safely. However, we recommend this especially for woodworking beginners as it is the safest, easiest method.
Below is a good video on the process:
How To Unfold A Bandsaw blade
When you buy a new blade, it usually comes folded. You'll need to unfold the blade before using it, and the steps are just as easy as folding the saw.
Never throw out the blade to unfold it. This could damage the teeth, or worse, bounce back and injure you.
To get started, make sure you wear the protective gear mentioned earlier.
Remove the tags, tie-down, or blade guides. A new blade will come packed down to prevent the blade loops from unfolding. You'll need to hold the blade firmly with one hand and remove the guides.
Once you remove the tags, find the two open loops. Take one loop of the bandsaw blade to your right hand while holding the rest on the left hand.
Slightly move your right hand away to form a figure-eight cross. Then with the right hand, hold the bottom of the hanging loop.
Slowly release the loops on your left hand, and you'll be left with a blade folded only in half.
Grab both sides of the arm away from your body and completely unfold the blade.
Folding and unfolding a bandsaw is fairly easy if you follow the steps above. It may be intimidating at first to hold the blade and twist it back and forth, but once you get the hang of it, it'll be pretty easy.
Remember to always adhere to safety precautions, especially gloves. With good thick gloves, you'll be sure to have a nice folding experience.